Have you ever noticed that exercising reduces stress but thinking about exercising increases stress? Especially during the holidays when schedules get jumbled and family pressures increase, the last thing we want to plan for or feel guilty about is exercise (or the lack of it). It will only be worse in January if avoided completely during the holidays. The reasonable solution is to do as much as possible, without missing time with family and friends. For many, the appropriate solution is thirty minutes in the morning, at least 3 mornings per week before the activities begin. The beauty of this plan is that your workout is done and you can stop thinking about it for the rest of the day. For others, two 15 minute sessions is more feasible. This time of year, it doesn’t really matter when or what you do, but that you give it a shot.
- Go for a walk if it’s warm enough outside. Better yet, encourage as many family members as possible to join you.
- If you are out of town, see if your hotel has a fitness center or your gym from home has a local branch. Many even allow guests so you can drag those family members along.
- Most cable companies include free On Demand exercise videos and many hotels have access to DVD players (or use your laptop) to play a fitness DVD. If the room is big enough, you guessed it, include the family.
- Swimming may be an option if you have access, and some hotels have indoor pools. Pools are like magnets for most family members!
- For those who still shop at the mall, this one is obvious...just be sure to wear your sneakers and take an extra lap in case you missed a bargain! (and whatever you do, avoid the food court)
And most importantly, give yourself a break. Do the best you can and just be sure to pick-up your regular routine once the holidays are over.
"An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."- Henry David Throreau